Most New Yorkers are reacting to last week's announcement that the mass transit fares are being hiked up, again, with resignation.
On Thursday, the Metropolitan Transit Authority voted to increase New York City subway and bus fares for a third time in three years. Starting on December 30, the unlimited monthly pass MetroCard will rise from $89 to $104, the seven-day unlimited pass will increase from $27 to $29, and a single ride will jump from $2.25 to $2.50. In addition, the one-day and 14-day unlimited MetroCards will be eliminated.
The fare hike comes just months after the MTA made major service cuts to subway and bus lines across the city. The MTA says that the cutbacks were executed in order to cap the $800 million budget gap.
"It's very terrible to be paying more...when you are not getting the proper service," says, Philip, a resident from Hollis, Queens, who has been taking mass transit for 20 years. "What are we going to do?"
Vicky, 60, from Queens Village says she buys two monthly passes each month, one for herself and one for her daughter. However, the fare hike will definitely hit her pocketbook. "The expense to me is a hardship," she says. "Service is terrible...and as the weather gets worst, the service gets worst," she noted.
Christina, 22, who travels from the Bronx to her job in Queens, also relies on the monthly pass for her commutes. She says she saw flyers about the public hearings with the MTA board but couldn't attend because of her job. In hindsight, she says the hearings were fruitless. "It really doesn't make a difference, they're going to do what they want anyway...It doesn't matter if a thousand of us went there. They're still going to do what they want."
Feeling helpless about the situation, Elan Evens, a 24-year-old from Saint Albans, Queens, says the hike is "inconvenient, of course, but there's nothing you can do about it."
Later this month, the MTA board will vote on hiking up bridge and tunnel fares beginning this January.